Charles Spotted Elk-Booth, Jr. Sentenced in U.S. District Court
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 29, 2013|
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on January 29, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, Charles Spotted-Elk Booth, Jr., a 26-year-old resident of Lame Deer, was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 100 months
- Special assessment: $100
- Supervised release: three years
Booth was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to aiding and abetting assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori H. Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On the evening of November 17, 2007, Booth, two adult males, and a juvenile male were driving around Lame Deer on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana drinking. The group saw the victim walking down the street and decided to pick her up. She was staggering as she walked, because she was drunk. She got into the car with the men and sat in the back between Booth and one of the adult males. The group then bought more alcohol—vodka—and continued to drive around Lame Deer until they parked in a remote area in the hills near Lame Deer.
During the time that the group was parked in the remote area, the victim was repeatedly raped and beaten by various members of the group. At some point, she was naked and placed in the trunk of the car. The group then drove around with her in the trunk for several hours until she was rescued from the trunk by police.
When the victim was found in the trunk, she had extensive bruising on her legs, thighs, buttocks, arms, and checks and lacerations and abrasions all over her body. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment. Photographs of the victim’s body were taken at the hospital and several days later. The injuries shown in the photographs, as well as testimony of the victim and medical personnel, would establish that the victim suffered extreme physical pain from the injuries and suffered a substantial risk of death from having been locked in the trunk for an extended period of time.
All of the participants in the crime, including Booth, were interviewed multiple times during the investigation. Through the testimony of co-defendants and the admissions of the defendant, the United States would prove that Booth aided and abetted in the assault of the victim and contributed to the injuries suffered by the victim. Additionally, Booth previously pleaded guilty to assaulting the victim in tribal court. Although the United States could not use the admissions made during that plea during its case in chief at a trial, the United States would have been able to use those admissions to impeach any contrary testimony Booth would give at trial, if he chose to testify on his own behalf.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Booth will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Booth does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.